Renewable Energy Careers - Challenging and Satisfying
By: Matthew Hick
If you are interested in an exciting career, one choice may be a career in the field of renewable energy. Finding resources for generations to come can be both challenging and satisfying.
If you’re looking into this area of interest there are many different professions that will be and are available. Because of the vast variety of existing opportunities, it will also accommodate a number of different degrees and different types of training. Your goal is to find which career path is the right fit for you.
Certain jobs in communications, community outreach, sales, marketing and business support are available in every renewable energy field. In addition, each field will need construction workers for building of the facilities, architects for the building design, mechanical and electrical engineers for research and development and technicians to maintain operations of the buildings. There are other jobs that will specifically target certain renewable energy technologies.
The wind industry uses meteorologists in their search to find areas with adequate wind conditions. Certain speeds of wind are vital to allow wind farms to generate enough electricity. In addition, advanced degree aeronautical engineers are needed for research and development in efforts to improve design and operations. Mechanical and electrical technicians, called “wind smiths” are needed to maintain the wind turbines.
The solar power industry has a need for highly skilled professionals. The different areas would consist of photovoltaics, solar thermal electric, solar hot water systems and passive solar building design. Higher-level jobs would include chemical, material science and physics engineers who would take the lead in research and development to improve solar products costs and reliability.
Much research is needed to make biomass energy production, the conversion of biomass into fuel, an easier process. This research effort will require the aid of chemists, microbiologists, biochemists, agricultural specialists and engineers. It will also create a number of direct and indirect jobs in rural communities. There will be an increase in jobs for farmers and foresters to produce and collect biomass resources. There will also be a need for more truck drivers to transport resources to the plants. There may even be a need for chemical engineers cross-trained in engineering and biology or chemistry and agriculture.
Geothermal energy production requires geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, hydrologists, seismologists, reservoir engineers, mud loggers, hydraulic engineers and drillers for the development and location of reservoirs. Environmental scientists will be needed for impact studies and for the obtainment of permits. HVAC contractors and drilling crews are also needed for manufacturing and installing geothermal heat pumps. Direct use of geothermal technology will have a need for heating engineers and those trained in building and agricultural industries. Electrical machinists, welders, riggers and mechanics are also needed in the design and construction processes.
Hydropower industry will employ recreation planners, resource managers and educators in managing the reservoirs and surrounding lands. The employment of environmental scientists such as, biologists, hydrologists, ecologists, and wildlife habitat specialists will be needed for conducting impact studies. They are needed to examine the effect hydropower has on the environment, to deal with environmental safety and to satisfy state and federal licensing laws.
The renewable energy field offers careers for individuals with a number of different skills, degrees and training. By being among those who will apply their talents and areas of expertise to any of the renewable energy fields, you can help the United States in its quest to provide an safe, environmentally friendly energy to its citizens.
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